The Eddie Kranepool Society

Monday, April 19, 2004

Barry Sparks of the York Sunday News did a nice piece on baseball bloggers. Yours truly was mentioned in the article. Many thanks to Barry for the mention. <

�KEEP MOVING FOLKS�.NOTHING TO SEE HERE�� Previously on NYPD BLUE: Detective Andy Sipowicz pulls up to a grizzly crime scene in Flushing, Queens. 25 bodies strewn all over ground. Sipowicz finds his partner Det. John Clark. Clark fills Sipowicz in on the details: Det. Andy Sipowicz: What� ve got here Junior? Det. John Clark: Pretty bad Andy. 25 causalities. AS: Any witnesses? JC: (nods) That guy over in the corner. AS: Who? That guy with the stupid look on his face? JC: Yeah him. Says his name is Artie. (Sipowicz goes over to interview the witness.) AS: Hey. Your name Artie? Artie: UH yes that�s me. Artie from Queens. AS: What happened here Artie? Artie: I dunno. We battled these guys for three games�. AS: What guys? Artie: Guys from Pittsburgh. Pirates I think�..well we battled. SP: Yeah OK can you tell me have the hell happened? Artie: Well my ace pitcher said his arm felt stiff on Friday and my pitching coach said he had to come out of the game. So I went to the bullpen and let the game get away. It�s not the first time that happened you know. Then for two days that�s all they team thought about, the one that got away. But we battled ya know, we battled. SP: OK OK Where are these Pittsburgh Pirates now? Artie: They went back to Pittsburgh. They said something about taking it to some Cubbies. Ya know we battled we really did we battled�.. SP: Artie if you say �we battled one more time, I gonna smack the shit outta ya. Ya got me. Artie: Huh? Oh yeah yeah sorry about that. JC: Whatta think Andy? SP: (runs his hand over his balding head) Junior I saw this happen about 10 years ago. Pirates game to Flushing and took 3 straight. I mean they had JAY BELL and he was good. Andy Van Slyke and Orlando Merced too. It�s been awhile. JC: What did Artie tell you? SP: Nothing we can work with here. Cue the music������. The major fault with the Mets as a team is they can never let a bad game just go away. They dwell on losses more than any sports team I �ve seen; well the NY Jets could say the same. The Mets are still licking their wounds from Friday�s disaster. I ripped Artie Friday night after he lifted Titan Tom Glavine from his 78 pitch 1 hit work of art. Now we find out maybe Artie had nothing to do with Glavine leaving the game. Professor Rick claims as soon as he heard stiffness in the arm, that he made the call on Glavine getting the hook. Glavine had some puss on him; like the one Tony Soprano had when he found out his father gave his dog to his mistress� son. The problem that seems to get the most press is the ineffective bullpen. No need to go into detail, as we know whom the usual suspects are. But a look at the numbers show, the pen has pitched the third most innings in the NL at 43 IP. This translates to a 1-3 record and a bulging 6.75 ERA. Add in 20 BB/28K and you see a mess that is similar to the dreck that brought down the team last year. Rickey Botaliaco wasn�t singed to close for the Tides that�s for sure. But the overlooked situation that is starting to bring this team back to 2003 mode is the offence. How much do you think the Mets can last with Zeile/Garcia/Spenser supporting Mike Piazza? If I�m the opposing manager, there is no way Piazza gets to see a fastball anywhere near home plate. Matsui and Piazza (and Phillips if Artie would move him up the order) are the catalysts of this offense. Garcia/Spencer have been very good and if Floyd was in LF, we would probably not be talking about this. Cameron has been as good as advertised and Zeile has been unbelievably good but how long do you think he can keep this up? Then you go down the bottom third of the order where Wiggy is struggling mightily and the Wilpon Ward and Ricky Gutierrez has boosted the suck quotient at 2nd base to Junior Noboa/Rich Puig status. My big concern yesterday with Jae Seo would be the lack of velocity. According to Piazza, he was hitting his spots but he lacked whatever mustard he could put on his fastball. Seo is not a hard thrower to begin with but you would wonder if going to the pen and the shuffle from Norfolk to NY has caused a bit of a �dead arm�. Tyler Yates has to come up with a good performance tonight, as he should have optimum weather conditions. It�s crazy warm today in NYC with temps to reach 80. You also have a team in the Expos that have a punier offense than the Mets, so it may be crazy to say but these are 4 very important games. We have heard from Piazza and David Weathers how this is a different team from last year, that they�re tougher and more resilient and on and on. Now's the time to walk the walk. Jose Reyes is �real close� to re-joining the Mets. According to The Duke, he will play in extended spring training and then join the St. Lonesome Mets and then Norfolk. Then it�s on to the St Angnes CYO team. The Duke is shooting for the West Coast voyage at the end of the month. Why do I get the feeling we won�t see Cliff Floyd till about the 4th of July. Looking at the AL league leaders in the paper today, you see the name Marco Scutaro in the 5th spot among the batting average leaders. Scutaro came into last night�s game against the Angels hitting .378. After going 2-4 last night to bring his average up to a robust .390. The Wilpon Ward is hitting (if that�s what you call it) at a wet noodle .188. Gutierrez is a B-12 shot worthy .171. Read it and weep Mets fans. <

Friday, April 16, 2004

Scarecrow: That's the trouble. I can't make up my mind. I haven't got a brain, only straw. Scarecrow:Oh, I'm a failure, because I haven't got a brain! Dorothy:Well, what would you do with a brain if you had one? Scarecrow: Do? Why, if I had a brain, I could - MANAGE THE NEW YORK METS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So Titan Tom Glavine was rolling along throwing a miniscule 78 pitches through 7 innings. 50 of thoses pitches were for strikes. Now any manager with half of brain would say "Man, what luck tonight. My bullpen could get a much needed rest tonight". The Mets will play 10 days straight without a day off, so a complete game by any of the starting pitchers would be just what this ball club needed. But, Artie from Queens deicdes tonight he is going to become Spark Anderson redux and yanks Titan Tom from the game. The look on Titan Tom's face as he sat in the dugout said it all.The last thing he wanted was to be pulled from this game. So Artie goes to the exhausted bullpen and voila a nice little 2-0 lead vanishes to a 7-2 deficit. Now in the 8th the Mets have battled back with an Eric Valent launching a 3HR homer after Mike Cameron drove in Kazuo Matsui with a double. Not only did Artie pull Glavine, he took out Jason Phillips for a pinch runner(Jeff Duncan) after Phillips singled to lead off the 8th . It took Duncan 2 outs before he stole second base. You can't tell me after this shamefull display of managing that The Skill Sets and The Duke are happy with Artie. Another bonehead game like this and Artie wil be collecting servance pay very soon. What looked like a nice little 2-0 win for the Mets is now a 7-6 loss. The winner Kip Wells, the loser ARTIE FROM QUEENS <

�HEY THROW A LITTLE COVERAGE OUR WAY WILL YA� You had to look close through the NY papers this morning to get your Mets news. If you thought the A-Rod stories were over the top, take a gander at the stories on the Highlanders vs. the Olde Towne Team�s, 4 game rumble this weekend. NY Times NY Daily News NY Post NY Newsday If you�re a Sopranos fan, you may remember a couple of seasons back when Christopher was shot and seriously wounded by a couple a jabronies trying to make a name for themselves. In the hospital, Christopher told Paulie Walnuts he saw a vision of hell. It entailed a bunch of Irish guys dressed in suits and playing cards beating the crap out of everyone around them. Well my vision of hell is Highlanders-Olde Towne Team hype and all the games announced by Tim McCaver and the Gateway to the West doofus Jack Buck. Welcome to Hell. I don�t know what was the bigger story in last nights Mets-Braves game, the fact that the Mets have taken two series in a row or that Senator Al hit a double and reached base on a walk? The Senator went just 5 1/3 innings but it was a hard 5 1/3 as he tossed 103 pitches. The Braves did not get a hit till the 5th and then they started to hit Leiter hard. In came David Weathers and he was able to get the DP to end the inning. Orber Moreno, who looks like he has settled into the set up role, pitched a 1-2-3 8th . Braden Looper came in to the game in a non-save situation and closed out the 4-0 win. The Duke has to be happy as his off season acquisitions are paying off. Kaz Matsui, who was more a Skill Sets move than a Duke move, looks to be the real deal. The platoon of Spencer/Garcia has given the line up solid production. Looper seems to have settled down as well. Just from a defensive stance, Mike Cameron is as good if not better than advertised. Now coming up is a very interesting 7 games, 3 with the Bucos and 4 with the �Spos. All at home. Would you sign for a 10-6 record after these 7 games? Yeah, so would I. �REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE A LITTLE KID��.� In kindergarten and first grade and the teacher had a cardboard cut outs for the days of the week and months. We would all say in a sing-song voices �To�.day is Fri�day. April the 16th 2004�. Well Mets manager Artie from Queens has his on version of that familiar board of our childhood. The Skill Sets send one of the lackeys over to Staples and bought Artie a magnetic board to post his lineup. Now all Artie has to do, is slip the little tags with the players name in the corresponding line up slot. There is also room for Artie to even put the position the player is playing that day. WOW! What progress. <

Thursday, April 15, 2004

�WHOA�IT LOOKS LIKE RAIN�.� Can someone tell me why the hell Mets management decided that last night was a nice evening for a ball game? Just another example of the Skill Sets not giving a rat�s ass about the paying customers. Sure the Highlanders played in the afternoon, my guess is they were sick of looking at the D-Rays and the moaning and groaning of that old washwoman Don Zimmer and decided let�s try and get this game in. That and the fact that it makes no sense to play a day/night twin bill against Tampa. Really the less said about last nights Mets loss the better, but I have a few observations: Besides screwing your fans, when do you think was the last time Tyler Yates pitched in weather like last nights? How about never. I won�t use that as an excuse for Yates because if you want to excel at this level you have to fight the elements sometime. But Yates did not seem very comfortable last night. Looks like Jae Seo can give up that apartment in Norfolk because he�s not going back. Seo, Kranepool Society favorite Dan Wheeler, John Franco and Grant Roberts combined to pitch 6 2/3 innings of fabulous relief. The foursome collectively gave up 3 H 0R 2BB (given up by Roberts) 4 K�s. Memo to Artie from Queens: It�s not good managing when I know what position Mike Piazza�s is playing before he does. It�s to everyone�s advantage to inform the player first of where he will playing before the media and fans do. This message is brought to you as a public service by The Eddie Kranepool Society. I�m not going to kill Artie on the lineup last night, but I would love to see him flip flop Jason Phillips into the 3 spot and drop Shane Spenser into the 6 hole. Stop Me if You�ve Heard This One�� The Duke claims that Jose Reyes is making remarkable progress and it�s quite possible he will return to the lineup by the end of the month. <

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Joe MacDonald the Grand Poobah of MOFO Sports had a great interview with Jeff Pearlman on the eve of the realease of his new book "The Bad Guys Won" all about the 1986 World Champion New York Mets. <

"LET'S HEAR IT FOR SCUTARO" I received an e-mail yesterday for a read named Andy Chapo. Andy wanted me to write about the Mets Bloggers number 1 man Marco Scutaro. The funny thing is I have been writing about Marco but it has been through a back and forth exchange of e-mails with Avkash. Both Avkash and I are so proud of our Marco. It broke our hearts when The Duke left him on the doorstep of the Beane family of Alameda County California but it seems like it was the best move for our Marco. Mike Mark Ellis out for the year and the Pride of New Brighton Staten Island, Frank Menichino also on the shelf, Scutaro is getting the valuable playing time that was never given to him by the Mets. Scutaro has started strong with .292/.308/.458 batting in the 9th spot of the A's line up. He also has nailed 4 two baggers so far this season. With what looks like a rain out for the Mets tonight, I will be firing up the ole' Direct TV and MLB Extra Innings and enjoy watching Scuataro and the A's take on the Rangers. <

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

There is a new kid on the blog block. Max is the owner and propriator of Mets Forever and it's worth you while to take a look. <

�IT DON�T COME EASY�YOU KNOW IT DON�T COME EASY�� Admit it, when you saw the lineup that Artie from Flushing posted yesterday for Opening Day at Shea, you thought drug testing for managers should be mandatory. Like when you go to the theatre and find the shows star is being replaced by the understudy, the crowd a Shea let out a collective �AH SHIT� when they saw this posted line up: Matsui Guetierrez Spencer Zeile Cameron Phillips Wiggy Wilpon Ward Trachsel Look at the 2-3-4, are you kidding me? Then the Wilpon Ward in LF? I took a vacation day for this? There are so many clich�s when it comes to sports and baseball in particular, but when they say �that�s why they play the games� that old chestnut was true yesterday.. But first some quick observations on Opening Day at Shea Stadium. Would it kill the NYCTA to run express subway trains on the 7 line during game days? I remember back in the day, the TA would run a Shea Stadium Special at 42nd Street that ran on the express tracks of the 7 line. For some reason (probably because it worked well) that has been suspend. Time to bring that back. I got to Shea a little after 12 noon and my son decided it was time for lunch. So we meander over to the Right Field corner where the Food Court is located. Now what used to be an area where the choices of food were much more diverse that standard concession stand, has been reduced to a hot dog and French fry stand, a Quisnos Sub stand that serves just two type of sandwiches, an Italian Sub and a Turkey Sub. There is also a Dunkin Dounuts which doubles as a police precent. Where there was a Bar-B Que stand that served a terrific sandwich has been replaced by a souvenir stand for kids. Now I know that�s where the team makes it�s money but it makes no sense to take out the one decent food area that�s open to all fans (more on this later) to build a merchandise store when your new Team Store is located just about 300 ft down the concourse. Can Mets management stop treating the Field Level of the stadium like it�s the First Class cabin of an airline. After eating a couple of hot dogs in right field, we wanted to walk through the Field Level concourse to see the new Team Store and check out the other new concession stands on that level. This way we could walk to the home plate area and grab the escalator to our Upper Deck seats. As we walk to fenced area a security guard dresses in a brand new blue and orange jacket asked to see my ticket stub. When I informed him we were sitting in the Upper Deck, we were told �under no circumstance can you enter the Field Level with out a Field Level ticket� When I asked why, the Stepford Rent-a-Cop could not answer me because he is not paid to think. He said if I liked, he would call a supervisor to explain the policy to me. I replied, �no thanks, I�ve had my fill of idiots today�. Later in the game I did speak to a �suit� in the Lodge concourse who informed me �they have had so much trouble with people sneaking down and sitting in empty Field Box seats. I was ready to tell the �suit� what a schmuck he sounded like but I figured �what�s the sense�? Hey, how about some positive reviews? I love the new auxiliary scoreboards. The light bulb indicators are gone, having been replaced by an easy to read gray on black visual. The face of the old right field scoreboard has become a matrix board and features more info like pitch counts and number of balls and strikes each pitcher has thrown. Both of these renovations are long over due. If I ran the Mets, I �d charge $10 for a 16 oz beer and a $1.50 for soda. I�ve come to the conclusion that the front office must laugh their asses off when they see the mark up on bottles of beer. �You mean to say we pay about 25cents a bottle for Coors Light and were are charging $6.75 at the stands and these fools are buying them by the case load�? Hell why not make it an even $7.00 and forget about the 25 cents change. I found the crowd very apprehensive from the pre game intros to the start of the game. Matsui and Cameron got warm welcomes. Piazza got his always raucous cheer. John Franco even was given a nice hand. Artie from Queens and David Weathers received halfhearted applause. Mike Stanton was given the equivalent of the cold shoulder. I guess on Opening Day Mets fan want to remain polite. Another new fad in baseball that annoys me is this new artistic way of mowing the infield and outfield grass. The Mets let go of long time groundskeeper, the pride of Co, Roscommon Ireland Pete Flynn and have hired another of these frustrated artists. The Mets now have their NY cut into the grass. Just my opinion, but that stuff belongs in Disney World, and cornfields in Kansas not a baseball field. School Boy Hampton was god-awful yesterday. He was getting the ball on the ground but the balls were hit so hard his infielders could not get near them. When he walked the Wilpon Ward with the bases loaded that�s when Uncle Leo Mazzone nearly fell off the bench. When you�ve watched the Mets for as long as I have, you know no lead is safe. When it was 10-1 after 6 innings I still thought the game was not over yet. What other fan can say that about their team? A 9 run lead with 9 outs to go and I was just waiting for something bad to happen. It nearly happened. Grant Roberts has done a reverse Matsui by being great in spring training and awful in the regular season. After he and Kranepool Society favorite Dan Wheeler decided to give up the long ball, you could just hear the murmur going through what was left of the 53, 000 fans who packed Shea. Just thinking about the fact Braden Looper had to come into this game to get the final 2 outs with the tying run at the plate no less, sums up perfectly what it�s like to root for the New York Mets. <

Sunday, April 11, 2004

No deep thoughts today as it's Easter Sunday so time to relax with family. A quick note tomorrow is opening day at Shea and I'll be in attendance (I hope the rain holds off til after the game). Shea Stadium is celebrating it's 40th birthday this seaon and I don't know what's worse, that Shea is still around after 40 years or that I've been going to Mets games since the day Shea opened up. One of these days I'll put up a post about my first Mets game. Hey if anyone is going tomorrow drop me an e mail <

Friday, April 09, 2004

Artie has lost his friggin' mind. He has take Piazza, Floyd and Phillips out of the game. Tyler Yates threw 85 pitches through 6 innings and he takes him out of the game. The bullpen is over worked as it is and here comes Mike Stanton. So now with two men on and Jose Vidro up (lefty hitting Vidro) and Artie takes out Stanton (lefty pitching Stanton) in the 8th and brings in Braden Looper. Looper (righty pitcher) has just given up a two run single to Vidro ( the same Jose VIdro who beat the MEts with a HR last year in P.R.) and the game is now tied at 2-2. This ladies and gentelmen of the jury is why I dispise Artie form Queens. How do you take out your 3-4 and 6 batter out of a game that you are only leading by 2 runs? Yates was crusing along. I'm babbling. I'm numb. 1st and 2nd 2 0ut Lopez up for Expos. Looper strikes him out. Top 9 2-2. Thank God there are gun laws in New York City. <

�MARK THIS DATE DOWN APRIL 8TH 2004� This will be a day that the Mets and Mets fans will look back on. Whether it�s in a positive or negative light is to be determined, but make no mistake the events of the 8th of April were truly amazing. Scott Erickson took his 36 year old injury rehabbed body down to the bullpen to warm up for his first start in two years. As Erikson lifted his leg in his wind up, he strained his hamstring. I�m guessing this is another indictment of the Mets strength and condition program (run by Rick Slate Strength Conditioning Coordinator) or should I say lack of strength and conditioning. I�m telling you, there�s good luck, bad luck and Mets luck. Mets luck is worse than a Santeria curse or even someone giving you the evil eye. So now Kranepool Society favorite Dan Wheeler, is in the clubhouse enjoying a cup of coffee, when he is approached by Professor Rick and told �you�re the starter, tonight�. Now Wheeler is thinking, �gee, you would have thought by now that Coach would know who�s who around here. I don�t look like Erickson�. Wheeler says to Professor Rick, �Ah I think you made a mistake coach, it�s Erickson who�s starting�. With that Professor Rick explains the situation to Wheeler and off he goes to prepare. Wheeler, pitched on Wednesday for an inning and a third and threw 28 pitches. Grant Roberts threw 2/3 of an inning and got tattooed but chucked only 22 pitches but I guess the Mets are still leery of pitching Roberts on back to back days and that�s why Wheeler got the start over him. Wheeler pitched into the 4th inning and left the game to David Weathers with a 4-2 lead. It was here that things go from bad to worse. Weathers and John Franco, two thirds of the Three Geezers in the bullpen, came in and with the help of some shoddy defense (stop me if you�ve heard this before) turned a 2 run lead into 9-4 deficit. The Mets offense did come back from the 5-4 Brave lead to tie it at 5-5 but Franco could not hold Atlanta. Franco�s line on the night was 2/3 INN 3 H 4 R 4 ER 3 BB 0 K. Although Kazuo Matsui, Mike Cameron, and Karim Garcia all committed errors, only 1 of the Braves 10 runs were unearned. So the Mets bullpen, which was Gigli awful last year, is approaching Jersey Girl bad this year. Just as Ben Affleck is the common denominator for films that suck, the same could be said for Weathers, Franco, and Mike Stanton when your talking suckability in bullpen pitching. Now we have Erickson on the 15 day DL, (and hopefully when he�s activated, he�s given his release but the Mets don�t have the onions to do it) and who takes his place? The old bridge burner himself, Jae Seo. I bet Seo does a lot of bowing to Duke-isan and Artie-san and Rick-isan to mend his fences. �ONE, TWO THREE�.LOOK AT MR. LEE�. To add to the bizarre Mets luck, Brooklyn Cyclones/minor league instructor Leon Lee has left the organization and leaves a void for the manager�s job in Brooklyn. The Cyclone season starts in two months so it will be a scramble for the Mets to find someone to take over in Coney Island. Why did Lee leave the Mets so abruptly? Well, according to the NY Post, Lee was waving his �Louisville Slugger� in public. This incident happened during spring training in Pt. St. Lonesome. What the hell is about that town that makes guy want to wave their Johnsons in public. They�re not kidding when they say it�s the loneliest place in Florida. �BY THE WAY MRS. LINCOLN, HOW WAS THE PLAY��..� Mets top pitching prospect Scott Kazmir was pulled form his start in Pt. St. Lonesome after 1 1/3 innings due to pain in his left side. Does anyone have the number for Samaritans? �ALWAYS LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE� Well it�s not all doom and gloom around the Amazin�s. Piazza is still getting his groove on. Cameron, Garcia and Jason Phillips are also swing hot bats. The team is scoring runs at a pace not seen since the late 90�s. Wiggy did a great job last night going 3/5 with 4 RBI that include a 2 run homer. So it�s on to Puerto Rico and three with the Expos. In the words of Bob Murphy �Fasten your seat belts� <

Thursday, April 08, 2004

� A NIGHT TO FORGET FOR SURE� After a very lackluster practice with my 8-year-old Little League team, I was kind of bummed. I need at least one more decent pitcher and my next practice will be a defensive drilling marathon. But I digress, I said to myself, look on the bright side, I�m having ravioli and meatballs for dinner and my boys in Blue and Orange are on TV. After Tuesday nights game, I was soooo looking forward to last nights game. Newly extended Steve Trachsel would be on the mound and that gutless ex-Met Mike �School Boy� Hampton would take the ball for the Braves. So after I devour my ravioli and meatballs, I settle in for the second game of the season. I�m looking at Kazuo Matsui and I�m thinking, can you imagine this guy stunk up spring training so bad, the Mets were worried about whether he could lead off or not. I�m watching him bat and you can see this will be one of the pleasures of the season watching him bat. Then Piazza comes up and BANG! Home Run. Damn, when he�s in this groove, the guy is unstoppable. Mike Cameron comes up next and the Mets dugout is still stoked from Piazza�s jack, Cameron nails a nice juicy pitch from School Boy Hampton over the LF wall for back to back jacks and a 3-0 Mets lead. OOOOO HHHHOOOO! Not only are the Mets ripping the cover off the ball but ther're beating the balls off Mike Hampton, which makes it so much sweeter. By the end of the third inning, the Amazin�s are up 6-0 with the Wino, Steve Trachsel, is rolling along, damn this is great, Where�s that number for the Mets ticket office. Ahhh here it is 718-507-TIXX: Hello Mets ticket office how can we help you? Kranepool Society: Yes good evening, I would like to purchase the �Meaningful Games� package, you know the ones that include all the home games in September, including the game when the Mets will clinch the NL East on September 24th against the Cubs? Ticket Office: Oh yes sir we still have some of those left, What seats would you like? KS: (What�s happened? Giles single scores a run ah 6-2 ok. Huh, Larry Jones is up, he�s on his last legs�what the��.2 run HR�..alright still 6-3�.the Wino will settle down�) Yes I want inner lodge box. TO: That comes to 15 games at $40 a ticket, that�s $600 what charge card will you be using sir? KS: (What�s this? Bases loaded for the Braves? �.what the hell is wrong with the Wino? Sure extend his contract at guaranteed money�.stupid Skill Sets�.who�s up? Julio Franco pinch hitting for the School Boy�. Man , Julio Franco is so old he was hired by Mel Gibson to be consultant for The Passion of the Christ, what� oh shit.. 2 run single for Franco�game tied at 6-6) uhh yeah Master Card my number is 123565��.. TO: Thank you sir, one moment please while we process your order. KS: (Roberts in the game�.This is the spot for him�coming in to calm things down�he�ll hold �em�.damn a walk to Furcal�.sac fly for Giles� another hit..and another�and another�.and another� Artie grab a towel and throw it on the field will ya! Ooohh another hit�.my God I can�t look anymore�� TO: Sir, we are having a little trouble with our computer system, it may take a little longer. Sorry for the inconvince. KS: UH yeah sure�.no problem (Kranepool Society favorite Dan Wheeler is in. He�ll show everyone why he should be here�..shit, a double and one more run�..single another run�.thank you..3 outs�UN-F�in BELEIVEABLE!!!! 11 runs in the 4th inning. Form a 6-0 lead to a 6-6 tie to 14-6 after 4 innings�.oh man, those meatballs are repeating on me�CAN SOME ONE GET ME MY MAALOX!!!!!!!!!!!) T.O.: Sir, your transaction has gone through. You tickets will be mailed to shortly. Thank you for calling the New York Mets. KS: UH? Yeah sure UH OK. (WHAT THE F DID I DO? , Oh man how the hell do I get out of this? Damn��Damn��.DAMN! I GOT IT!! TO: Hello Mets ticket office how can I help you? K.S. Hello Hello yes this the Kranepool Society calling, listen I lost my wallet earlier today while I was walking past the Staten Island Psychiatic Hospital and I think one of the patients found it and is using my Master Card TO: Well sir how do you know that a patient found your card and is using it? KS: Master Card called me and said someone with my card number just used it to purchase $600 worth of Meets tickets for September. Com�on who else would do that but a mental patient. TO: I guess your right sir, we will rescind that order. KS: WWWWWWWHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!! <

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

"LOOKS LIKE THE VILLAGE IS MISSING IT'S IDIOT" Jr. Skill Sets and Steve Trachsel were having dinner on night. Trachsel, who could become a free agent if he did not pitch in a minimum of 180 innings, said to Jr. "When I pitch inning 179, I may walk off the mound and become a free agent. So of course Jr. Nearly pissed his pants. So instead of laughing off Trachsel's joke, he gives Trachsel a contract extendtion. That is absolutely a move of a novice. Now, instead of a valuable trading chip when Mets games become non-meaningful, the Mets are on the hook with Trachsel for 2005 at $5mil and potentially for a mind boggling $7 mil in '06 (there is a $1mil buyout but Trachsel would have to vanish off the face of the earth not to reach his incentives). Trachsel was a very valuable chip for future trades, especially for some much needed outfield help, but now no one would touch him with a ten foot pole. Both Jr. Skill Sets and Trachsel are supposedly wine connoisseurs, but I think Jr Skill Sets was drinking Thunderbird when he made this deal <

"YIPPE, YAPPY AND MATSUUUUUUUUUUUUUI" It's amazing what one win can do. The Met took over not only the back pages of the papers this morning, the also got the front page of the NY Post. You know Georgie Porgie was kicking up a nasty tantrum when he saw that. Not only that, the Mets were the buzz in the city today. I went with my wife and kids to the Madison Square Garden to see the circus today. I was wearing my Mets pullover jacket. Now I wear this jacket a lot and most times I get smirks and giggles. Today on the SI Ferry and on the subway and in MSG all I heard was WOW HOW ABOUT THAT MATSUI!!!, and GEE, MAYBE THEY WILL BE BETTER THAN LAST YEAR!!!. One game has given fans hope. From Kazuo Matsui having a Major League debut that had to be seen to be believed. I mean C'mon first pitch of his career and the first pitch of the season Matsui nails a 420 ft homer? Then to top that, he hits a double on a pitch on the inside black of the plate (Kaz was batting lefty) and pulled it down the RF line for a double. I thought Keith Hernandez was going to fall out of the TV booth from the excitement. But Matsui was not the only story in this game. Mike Piazza hit a blast to LF that was vintage Piazza. Arms back, he whipped the ball like a bad habit. Jason Phillips performance has gotten lost in the shuffle, so to speak. Phillips went 2-3 (2 doubles) 2 runs scored 1 RBI. Karim Garcia made two nice plays in RF that Roger Cedeno could only dream of making. Then there was the pitching. I was growing weary of the Titan Tom stories in the papers about his adjustment and being away form his family and yada, yada, yada. He seemed relaxed last night, though a little shaky in the 1st inning but he got straighten out and did fine. Now if he can stop being a little whinny grily man, he may be the difference form the Mets gasping for air and playing "meaningful games" in September. David Weathers was shockingly good last night, even hitting 92 mph on the gun. The only down side was Floyd and Wiggy taking a combined 0-9. We can only hope the next 161 are just as good. <

Monday, April 05, 2004

�AND HERE THEY ARE YOUR 2004 NEW YORK METS� Here is all you need to know about what kind of spring the Mets had. When asked what was the positive aspect of the spring was, our leader Artie form Queens said �It�s behind us. Now we can get serious about things. Not that we weren�t serious but it all counts now� The Tao of Artie gets a new entry. What�s interesting is The Skills Sets, Sr. and Jr. are putting some pressure on Artie to get off to a great start. Forget about playing �meaningful games� in September I hope this team is playing meaningful games in May. What once looked like a team that could surprise and maybe contend for a Wild Card berth, now looks like a team that if it finishes at .500 would be an overachievement. In Adam Rubin�s Mets story in the NY Daily News today he claims that �privately the veterans are bracing for could be a tough season�. As a Mets fan that�s not what you want to hear on the eve of Opening Night. Let�s look at the roster that broke camp from Pt. St. Lonesome: Starting Pitchers Leiter Galvine Trachsel Yates Erickson Those are your starters, and there is a question about all five of them. But before that let�s discuss Jae Seo. Seo is pissed off that he did not make the rotation as he thought that MLB plays with Little League rules that players automatically go with the same team from year to year. This was a wake up call for Seo, that there are no guarantees in life my friend and you just found out the hard way. Tyler Yates out pitched Seo and Scott Erickson showed enough this spring plus he has a body of work that�s proven, and that got him the 5th spot in the rotation. Now it�s good to see that Seo is angry about his demotion but he needs (and his agent as well) to hold off on the rhetoric. Jae, you had one year in the Bigs, it�s not like you�re a 5 year vet you got sent down. As far as looking for a trade, be careful what you wish for, Detroit can be a lonely place in the summertime. The only real given in the rotation is Trachsel. Now that Senator Al has Alan H. Selig� name tattooed to his forehead, it�s imperative for Titan Tom Glavine to step up and pitch like the Atlanta Brave he used to be. Hopefully the good Senator will just miss one start and that the line drive off his noggin won�t make him gun shy. Give Erickson and Yates credit, Erickson was a huge question mark when he came to camp but he showed enough to win the 5th starters job and Yates was very impressive and dominating enough to knock Seo to Norfolk and Grant Roberts to the pen. Bullpen Roberts Wheeler Weathers Stanton Franco Moreno Looper Good News, bad news. The good news, Kranepool Society favorite Dan Wheeler gets a deserving spot in the pen. Wheeler was the best of an awful lot last season and did nothing this spring to lose his job (take note Jae Seo) the bad news, Rickey Botaliaco pitch good enough to make this team. However he was a victim of overstuffed contracts and Ober Moreno stepping up and firing darts while racking up K�s. The Three Geezers-Weathers, Stanton and Franco-have to reverse their unproductive ways for the Mets to have any chance to makes this a season to care about. Braden Looper got smacked around this spring, but word on the street says he was trying different pitches and different pitching angles under the watchful eye of Professor Rick. Let�s hope that�s the case and that Looper can pick up on his fine World Series play. Catchers Piazza Phillips Wilson Mike Piazza has had a fabulous spring with the bat. He went to first base with a much better attitude than he showed last year (although he is still a work in progress at first, to say the least) what you worry about with Mike is his health. As goes Piazza, so goes the Mets. Jason Phillips is turning into a professional hitter, but he needs to add the long ball to his resume to really make an impact on this team. Vance Wilson is the best defensive catcher on the team, but if he has to go in the everyday line up, the Mets are sunk. Infielders Wiggington Reyes Matsui Gutierrez Zeile Wilpon Ward Someday Kazuo Matsui and Jose Reyes will play in the same game. I�m going to give Matsui some time before �I show him some Staten Island� as the adjustment from the Japanese League to the Major League will take some time. Wiggy, oh Wiggy, if you could only hit with some power. That�s the big problem with the Mets. The corners are where you want to get your power and our corner guys are on the fringe. Can Wiggy, Phillips, Floyd and Spenser/Garcia produce 100 HR�s? I�m not sure, and that could be the difference between playing those meaningful September games and playing out the string. If I see an infield that consists on Zeile at 3rd or 1st base, Wilpon Ward at short, and Ricky Gutierrez starting on a consistent basis at 2nd base, I may have to take a ride with Tony Soprano and Adriana to Dover NJ. Outfield Floyd Cameron Spenser Garcia Valent Cliff Floyd is still hurting. Mike Cameron has bee told �icksnay on the toe-ay� and the tag team of Garcia/Spenser, the Mets version of the Dudley Boys, need to be under surveillance. Then we have Rule 5 pick Eric Valent whose claim to fame is he bats left-handed. So there you have it our 2004 Mets. This team was to be built on pitching and defense. So of course they committed 45 errors this spring and 1/3 of one of the worst bullpen in baseball returns another year older. Our two �offensive igniters� have yet to play in game together. 2/3 of our outfield is hurtin� for certain and the other 1/3 is on the FBI 10 Most Wanted List. Our bench consists of a 27 year old Rule 5 stumblebum, the illegitimate son of the team owner, and a guy who is making his farewell tour. Sounds promising eh? What could the slogan be for this season �All for One, Let�s Win 81�? We Strive for Mediocrity�? How depressing is that, that if the Mets finish with 81 wins the season would be a success. Pass the Kleenex please! �FOR WHAT IT�S WORTH, HERE ARE THE 2ND ANNUAL KRANEPOOL SOCIETY PREDICTIONS� NL EAST Phillies Marlins Braves Mets Expos Phillies should go wire to wire and hopefully Mushsugna Larry clams down and let�s the players play. NL CENTRAL Cubs Astros-Wild Card Cards Reds Brewers Pirates Cubs are just too strong. When Prior comes back teamed up with Wood and Maddux can�t be beat. Wait about 2 years and the Brew Crew will own this division. NL WEST Padres Dodgers D�Backs Giants Rockies I said back in August I�d pick the Pods in �04 and I�m a man of my word. The Dodgers with the addition of Milton Bradley will make it close due to great pitching and an under rated manager in Jim Tracey. D�backs and Giants can�t compete here and Randy Johnson should be a Highlander by July. The Giants after B. Bonds have no offense. Rockies may be the worst team in baseball NL CHAMPIONS PHILLIES AL EAST Highlanders Blue Jays Red Sox Orioles D-Rays Best division in baseball. The Blue Jay pick is not typo; the Jays have flown under the NY-Boston bullshit storm to put together a very underrated team. Halladay, Batista, Hentgen and Lily will be what separate the Jays from the Olde Town Team. O�s and Rays vastly improved as every team in division will finish at .500 or better. AL CENTRAL Twins White Sox Royals Indians Tigers Terry Ryan keeps coming up with talent. Radke, Santana, and Lohse top three starters in division. Ozzie Gulien could spark the Sox but not enough to beat out Twins. The Royals will be in the hunt as well. The Indians are like the Brewers, just a couple of season�s away form taking over this division. The same cannot be said of the Tigers. AL WEST Angels A�s-Wild Card Mariners Rangers The icing on the cake will be Vlady winning the AL Triple Crown. The Angles are another team flying like a Stealth Bomber plus Arte Moreno will spend the dough if a player is needed down the stretch. The A�s can�t and the Mariners won�t. The Rangers won�t have to. AL CHAMPION ANGELS WORLD SERIES CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES <

Sunday, April 04, 2004

"WELL SCRATCH MILTON BRADLEY OFF OUR SHOPPING LIST" The Tribe wasted no time by shipping Milton Bradley off to the the Dodgers for top prospect Franklin Gutierrez. I have not read reports yet but it would be interesting to find out if The Duke was given the green light to make a deal for Bradley and if he was, who he offered up in trade. Gutierrez is a top notch prospect who was the Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year last season. In fact a look at his numbers shows he's a younger version of Bradley with power, speed but a bit lacking in defense. Paul DePodesta rolled the dice here, as he sees the NL West is up for grabs and his team has the pitching but is impotent on offense. Bradley if and it's a big if, has his head on straight the Dodgers could be back in the playoffs Let the season begin. <

"THREE CHEERS FOR FREDDY SKILL SETS HIP, HIP HOORAY" I love to target Freddy Skill Sets with a tart tongue but not today. Freddy did what I asked and basically released Roger Cedeno. Sure The Duke made a little window dressing but shipping him off to the Cardinals for two stiffs in C Chris Widger and INF Wilson Delgardo, both would need to buy tickets to see the inside of Shea Stadium. Gee, how desperate are the Redbirds in the outfield that they look for Cedeno to help them? You have Jim Edmonds in CF who is injury prone, 75 year old Ray Lankford has to prove he's not finished, Reggie Sanders is slowed by bad knees (what else is new) and So Taguchi is Japanese for "Can't play a lick". So good for the Skill Sets for eating about $9mil of Cedeno' contract and working out a deferred payment schedule a la Bobby Bonila. Freddy Skill Sets has also laid the law down that the team better have it's ass in gear coming Tuesday night. Not only are the players on notice but it seems Artie from Queens is being held accountable this year as well. Please, Artie get the fella's in gear, I really don't want to post an Artie "countdown to firing" link. "CLOSE CALL FOR SENATOR AL" Everyone held their breath yesterday after seeing Senator Al take a line drive off the bat of Marlins SS Alex Gonzalez to the head. Although the Senator seems to be ok, he may have to miss his start on Thursday. Al is a lucky man he could have been killed by that shot. All I thought about was Jon Matlack getting hit in the face from a line drive by Marty Perez of the Braves. Hopefully the Senator will be A-OK and be back and ready next week. "THE ALLURE OF MILTON BRADLEY" Everyone had a girl with a "reputaion" in their neighborhood when they were growing up. The type of girl who you knew spending some time with would be "fun". However, there was no way in hell you could ever have a long term reationship with her because well she was "trouble" That's Milton Bradley. He has all the vital statistics we all love and salivate over. .321/.421/.501 we baseball fans drool over those numbers as males also slobber our selves over that female with 36/24/36. Now here's the problem. Do we want that whirlwind fling and the instant satisfaction it will bring. Or do we think about the pots and pans flying and the police knocking on our door for a domestic dispute call? That's the question here. For me, I'd take the chance as long as the price is not prohibited. For $1.73 mil for one year, I've been seduced by Milton Bradley. Know any good bails bondsman? <

Friday, April 02, 2004

"SO MUCH TO DO AND SO LITTLE TIME" I've been a little busy at home and at work but I got too much venom stored up, so I have to let it out. But before I go on a rant feast, I must start with a kind word. Many thanks to Norm over at The Shea Hot Corner for inviting me to the Mets Bloggers version of the Algonquin Roundtable. From all the entries it�s safe to say the wrong people are in charge of the Mets. NOW LET'S DO SOME CUTTING AND SLASHING" What�s the deal with Jose Reyes? Now it sounds as if the Mets and Reyes agent are not on the same page, as we see in this quote from Adam Rubin� story in today�s NY Daily News: Still, the Mets have yet to solve the 20-year-old Reyes' persistent leg woes. And the potential for a rift exists between the club and Reyes and his representatives - as Mets brass pushes Reyes behind the scenes to come back quickly. Some members of the organization feel Reyes is overstating the severity of the problem See this is what makes the front office look clueless at times. Are the doctors saying that they don�t see anything that would constitute the pain? Is it the trainers who are voicing this opinion? Do they want to risk Reyes tearing the hamstring and kissing the season bye-bye? Don�t forget Dr. Andrew Rokito the team physician was the man who thought Vlady Guerrero was a risk and from reports that Tom Veducci of SI made on WFAN, Valdy is ripping the cover off the ball in Arizona. Now it seems that Reyes will go outside the organization for help with this problem by visiting Mackie Shilstone and Mack Newton to get help with his hammy troubles. But check out this quote and tell me if your scratching your head while reading it: Reyes is also planning to get some outside help. During the All-Star break, he is expected to visit sports-performance experts Mackie Shilstone and Mack Newton. Former Pirates All-Star Carlos Garcia, a fellow client of Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg, also saw Shilstone and Newton to deal with a similar rash of hamstring injuries. Reyes has to wait for the All-Star break because the treatment takes three days. So the Mets will wait till the middle of July to deal with this problem because it take 3 days. THEY�RE PUTTING REYES ON THE DL SO WHY NOT SEND HIM TO SHILSTONE AND NEWTOWN NOW!!!!! (Sorry for yelling) When Reyes goes on the DL it will be back dated, so figure he could be activated when the Mets go to Puetro Rico to play the Expos on April 9th-11th, that�s a week from today. That�s 7 days. That�s 4 more than 3. Get my drift here. Shilstone and Newtown work out of New Orleans not Tibet, so what are the Mets waiting for? Then we have these words of wisdom form our fearless leader Freddy Skill Sets: "I think it is obviously frustrating to Jose and everyone else, but I also believe that everything that can be done is being done," owner Fred Wilpon said. But Wilpon is not worried that the problems will be chronic. "Every expert has said this is fixable and I believe they're right," Wilpon said. "We hold (Reyes) in very high regard. He's a terrific young man and terrific baseball player. He'll be stronger for it." Well Freddy from my vantage point everything is not being done, since your medical and training staff seem clueless on how to help Reyes. The two men who seem to be the experts in this type on injury and just a hop, skip and a jump away from St. Lonesome and the reports are the team will wait till July to do something. This is why the organization has the image of ineptitude. CAN WE SET UP THE PITCHING STAFF ALREADY ? It looks like there are still tough choices to be made on what 12 pitchers are coming North. The Locks are: Leiter Glavine Trachsel Roberts Looper Weathers Stanton Franco The Contenders Yates Erickson Seo Moreno Bottalico Wheeler Out of the last 6, 2 have to go. The two most likely to leave are Jae Seo and Scott Erickson. Seo was thought to be a lead pipe cinch to be the 4th starter, but this is what happens sometimes in the spring, especially for young and unestablished guys, someone shines and takes your job. In this case Tyler Yates has more than earned the spot in the rotation. Seo did not meet the challenge. It�s that simple. So look for him to head to Norfolk to join a very very good staff. Erickson it seems has been pitching more in �B� games and intra-squard games, so it�s hard to tell how effective he really is. Add to that he�s 36 years old and we have enough geezers already on the staff, what�s the point? Even though he has a minor league deal. the Mets can still trade him and there does seem to be lot�s of interest around for his services. Look you know and I know that the Mets are rebuilding and that�s supposed to be a word so foul in NYC that the FCC should but in on the indecency list, but it�s the truth. Most experts are picking the Mets to finish either 4th or last in the division. Freddy Skill Sets and The Duke talk about playing �meaningful games� in September and this could do that. If you look around the NL, who are the top 10 teams in the league: 1. Cubs 2. Astros 3. Phillies 4. Marlins 5. ? 6. ? 7. ? 8. ? 9. ? 10.? 5 through 10 is anyone�s guess. The Mets have not had a great spring. Not only with injury�s and off the field B.S. but the defense that was to be improved has been awful. The offense is no bargain either as the inability to score runs has shown up all spring. Now I know spring training is a time to work on different aspects of the game and don�t put to much stock into spring stats. The media loves bashing the Mets as well so what you read in the main stream press you have to take with a grain of salt as well. But the question I have is can this team start the season with a strong start? The Mets whole season could ride on their April record. The Mets have not had a strong start in years and what I worry about is if they get off slow will the self doubt follow as it did last year. That�s where a strong motivator for a manager is so valuable. As we know our man Artie from Queens lacks a lot in that area. That�s why he�s so wrong for this job, but we�re stuck with him and hopefully have Professor Rick along side him and a healthy Don Baylor by his side will help in the motivation side of dealing with the players. If not, we may be in for another long summer. <

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"SO SEO MAY BE NO GO" The Duke, Artie from Queens, and Professor Rick have a trick up their sleeve as it comes to putting together the Mets pitching staff. While us Mets fans have been doing the "paper or plastic" routine with Grant Roberts, Scott Erickson and Tyler Yates as to whom the 5th spot in the rotaion will go to, the Mets brain trust has come up with a different view. Considering that Jae Seo as been worse than so-so this spring and the fact that he can be optioned to Norfolk, he could be the odd man out when the final roster comes North. This move (and it's a bold one) would strengthen the bullpen, as Rickey Bottaliico, Kranepool Society favorite Dan Wheeler and closer of the near future, Orber Moreno would make the team. As I say, this is a bold move but why stop there. Seo finshed up the season strong but if you look over his perfornace for all of 2003 it was uneven. He statered strong, faded in the middle and picked up steam at the end. But let's not stop there. While the decison makers are feeling their onions, how about showing some real big Vidalia Onions and give Roger Cedeno his walking papers. That would show huge stones. Say "here ya Roger, here's your check and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out". Com'on Freddy your up! <

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

�THUMP�.THUMP�.THUMP�..THUMP�.� That�s the sound of Titan Tom Glavine banging his head against the clubhouse wall, as he envisions the opening day, up-the-middle defense of Piazza, Wilpon Ward, Gutierrez, and Cameron. Kazuo Matsui has a right wrist stain (X-Rays were negative) and Jose Reyes still has discomfort in his right hammy and looks more and more like he will not start on opening day. The question I have is, if Reyes can�t start on opening day do the Mets put him on the DL and keep an extra pitcher? Think about this, with Roger Cedeno having no role what so ever on the team, taking up a roster spot and with Reyes not ready to play, if you�re The Duke what do you do? In order to answer that question, we would have to know the truth on how bad Reyes is hurt. If Reyes is hurt worse than we are being let on to be, then the Mets could go with 12 pitchers and 13 position players. That would mean Ricky Botalaico and Orber Moreno both make the pitching staff. And Grant Roberts wins the 5th starter spot. With the shaky spring that Braden Looper has had and Senator Al�s balky left arm, this may not be a bad way to go. �ARTIE FROM QUEENS RUNS FOR DAYLIGHT� Unhappy with the way the team has played defense (I thought this was going to be our strength this season) Artie from Queens turned Lombardi-like and had the team on the field at Pt. St. Lonesome at 9:30 AM for defensive drills before hoping on a bus for a trip to Jupiter. (Florida that is) Artie showed me a little somethin� somethin� by �drilling� the fellas. In fact the players were grumbling about this! GO ARTIE!! �LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS� So former player/ current sports talkie Andy Van Slyke, claims Titan Tom had told him that he hates throwing to Mike Piazza. Now Van Slyke is trying to cover his and Glavine�s ass by stating he (Van Slyke) made the statement and not Titan Tom. This is not the first time this has come up between T T and Piazza. It will interesting to see if Piazza�s 1st base assignments fall on the same day as Titan Tom starts. "NOTES FROM THE ASTORIA GULAG" 1. My Big Fat Obnoxious Talk Show Host and his Glibert Godfried clone, we all smiles when Tom Verduci of SI claimed that not only did the magazine pick the Mets to finish last in the NL East, but word out of desert is that Vlady Gurerreo is wowing them this spring. Verduci claims the word is that Vlady could contend of a Triple Crown this year. 2. Thursday from 5PM to 7PM Steve Somers will be joined in studio as his co-host by none other than big time Mets fan Jerry Seinfield. <

Monday, March 29, 2004

�RICKY DON�T LOSE THAT NUMBER� The Duke has landed our 25th man and he�s Ricky Gutierrez, and from reading today that Jose Reyes �felt something� running the bases yesterday puts seeing his name in the Opening Day lineup dicey at best. Gutierrez claims that since he�s had surgery to relive pressure on his spinal cord, this is the best he�s felt physically since the 2001 season. In �01 as a member of the Cubs, Gutierrez hit .290/.345./.402 36 xbh 11 HR 66 RBI 76 R. If healthy Gutierrez is step up from the Wilpon Ward, who will still be in charge of coffee and dounuts. Not only is Gutierrez more than capeable of playing 2nd or short, he has played a little (very little) OF as well. So his versitlity is a big plus. I have a funny feeling Gutierrez is going to see a lot of playing time this season. I don�t think that�s good thing though. The NY Daily News and the NY Post put out their baseball preview section today. I guess with the Highlanders opening up the season in the Far East tomorrow, the papers wanted to get a jump on things. (Sidebar: Highlander fans, SHUT THE F UP!. I have never heard such bitching and moaning over the Highlanders opening the season in Japan. I�ve heard fans complain about opening the season on foreign soil {that�s the Republican faction of Highlander fandom}then there are the fans who are complaining about the games on at 5AM {This is the wuss faction of the Highlander supporters}PLEASE STOP! First of all, the Highlanders make it sound like they traveled to Mars. Although it may seem that way, the Highlanders are not the first Americans to travel to Japan. The Mets went to Japan in 2000 and it was fun to get up at 5 AM and watching them play the Cubs. In fact, lots of Mets fans stayed up and partied through the night in celebration of the new season. That�s called fun Highlander fans, you should try it some day.) Daily News Sam Borden likes the Phillies in the NL and Red Sox in the AL with the Red Sox winning the World Series. Bill Gallo over did his meds as he picks the Cardinals to win the World Series. John Harper has the Red Sox and Cubs meeting in the World Series with the Red Sox winning. The shocker here was Bill Madden picking his beloved Highlanders to win the East but the Angels winning the AL pennant and playing the Cubs in the Series with the Cubs winning. Anthony McCarron the Highlander beat writer has them in the World Sereis with the Phillies and the Highlanders winning. Mighty Quinn has Red Sox-Cubs with the Cubs as World Champs. Adam Rubin the Mets beat writer has Highlanders-Cubs, with the Cubs victorious. Rubin also picks Steve Trachsel to win the NL Cy Young (Aye Carumba!) Vic Ziegel is wandering around Coogan�s Bluff. Post Let's see what suprises the Post baseball writers have for us. Number 1 Highlander bootlicker George King has the Highlanders besting the Cubs in the World Series (Shocking huh!) Mets beat man Mark Hale picks the Amazin's for 4th and has the Cubs over the A's in the World Series. Kevin Kernan has the Highlanders over the Cubs in the World Series. Columnist Mike Vaccaro has the Astros over the Higlanders (Now that would be intersting) in the World Series. Joel (Pinstripe Pajamas) has the upset of the day as he picks the Cubs over the RED SOX! in the World Series. Of course he picks the MEts to finish last. He has the Highlanders finishing 2nd and winning (for lack of a better term) the AL Wild Card. He better look out Georgie Porgie might take his Pinstripe PJ's away form him. <

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Norm over at The Shea Hot Corner, has posted Part 1 of his Mets Roundtable discussion. He has enlisted the big guns. Pete Abraham of The Journal News, Doug Pappas of SABR/Baseball Prospectus fame, Tim Marchman of The New York Sun and other publication, The Godfather of Mets news on the internet, Bryan Hoch and Ed Tsunoda of NY Fansites. These guys have great insites and Norm has come through with great questions. Part 2 of Norm's Round Table will be posted next week and will feature the Mets Blogging community. <

"SOUTH SIDE TIMO AND THE REINSDORF JUKES" The Mets traded Timo Perez, who can't hit left handed pitching, to the White Sox for RHP Matt Ginter, who can't get left handed hitters out. The Pale Hose will assume responsibility for Timo's contract of $850K. So by paying Ginter a league minnimum of $350K, The Duke saves $500K, which would be the cost of a 25th man to play the infield. How about this quote from The Duke on the role of Roger Cedeno with the Mets: Perez could have stayed on the roster as the fifth outfielder, but the Mets remain unwilling to eat $10 million by releasing Roger Cedeno. He has proven untradeable. "We're still trying to find a spot more meaningful for Roger, but I'm not sure that exists right now," general manager Jim Duquette said. "I think he'll continue to compete for playing time." How great is that line! The Duke is telling Mets fans, "I hear you and I'm with you but The Skill Sets won't let me cut Roger's sorry ass". <

Saturday, March 27, 2004

"LEW FORD WILL LIVE A LONG LIFE" I just got finished e-mailing Norm over at The Shea Hot Corner about who I thought the Mets RF'er will be in 2005. Two players I mentioned were Michael Restovich and Lew Ford. Since I have MLB Extra Innings cable package (Sidebar: If you have the ways and means to obtain this service as a baseball fan you have to get it! It's worth the cost beleive me.) I love to watch teams like the Twins and the first time I saw Ford play, he became a favorite of mine. Now the reason Ford will live long and prosper is after e-mailing Norm I get my trusty daily briefing from Lee Sinis (We should start calling Lee, Baseball's Press Secretary) in it he has link to a story on Lew Ford. It seems Lou is a computer nerd who started his own internet site at 13. (Beat that Jeremy) The story goes on to show the Ford is a bit eccentirc. After he hit a HR at the Metrodome, the fans chanted LEW, LEW,LEW he asked a teammate why where they booing him after all he just homered? In Anahieim, he was told he would go into the game to pinch run. He went down to the clubhouse quickly and when he was coming back up he made a left instead of right and ended up in the parking lot. More to the fact, Ford would be our "Moneyball" player as he has put up some fine OBA in the minors. He does not strikeout much, which would be a major plus for the Mets, he possesses decent speed and is a better than average defender. So instead of chasing for a 25th man, The Duke shoudl be on the horn with Terry Ryan and get us Lew Ford! PRONTO. <

"IS THERE CAUSE FOR CONCERN?" Kazuo Matsui has not yet adjusted to playing ML baseball. since injuring his finger early in the spring, he has not been able to get himself set and ready for his first season with the Mets. Now that does not have me worried, as Pete Abraham points out in his story in today's Journal News, it took Hideki Matsui a while to adjust to ML pitching before he got comfortable and had a fine season with the Highlanders. My concern with Kazuo is the guy was an iron man of sorts in Japan, playing in over 1,000 consecutive games, now needs to take a full day off from the "rigors" of spring training. Artie from Queens told Kazuo to stay away from the spring complex. All we've heard from Kazuo was how he wanted to be in the line up everyday and how much that meant to the folks back in Japan. Meanwhile, the guy is spent after spring training. Add in the fact he missed a few weeks with his stiched up finger, and the fact that The Duke is dumpster diving again for a 25th man to spell him and Reyes in the infield, makes me a bit queasy. <

Friday, March 26, 2004

�MY FUNNY VALENTINE� As the ink stained wretches of the NY print media hit the Land of the Rising Sun, three local writers got to hang out with former Mets manager Bobby Valentine. Valentine has returned to the Chiba Lotte Marines, a team he led after getting the ax from Dubbya�s Rangers. Jack Curry of the Times, Joel (Pinstripe Pajamas) Sherman and Jon (Enemy of the Mets fan) Heyman hit the town with Bobby V and all three filed stories on the wit and wisdom of V. Of the three articles, I felt that Heyman did the best job. Valentine rails that people who think that managing in Japan is not a major league job are sorely mistaken. He also takes on A's GM, Billy Beane and the �Moneyball mindset� that has taken over MLB and he claims he would never take a job in an organization that has the same philosophy as Beane. He also sings the praises of managing in the Japanese League and how he�s as happy as ever and could envision himself having a long career in Japan. As usual, Valentine is a walking contradiction. His contract with the Lotte Marine is for one year with four option years. He also can come back to the �states� to mange as long as he gives the Marines 10 days notice. His access to the Mets front office was non-existent during his last year of service with the Mets. I found it comical as he relates the story that he was �regulated to sit in my office and not allowed to have anyone to come in and visit�. Who was he going to entertain in his office? Tommy LaSorda? Valentine also let the word get out that Larry Lucchino called to find out what he thought of Grady Little' non-removal of Pedro in Game 6. Valentine says �I�m not so sure he (Little) did the wrong thing� and although Valentine claims the call was not a job interview he sure as hell had his name removed from Evil Empire Avengers short list of managers. Bottom line, if he does well with the Marines he will probably get a call from a ML team looking for that Valentine spark and he�ll jump on the chance to back home. <

Thursday, March 25, 2004

"AND SSSSTTTTRRRREEEETTTTTCCCCHHH 2, 3, 4.............." Lee Jenkins in today's NY Times writes on how the Mets are considering going outside the organization and bring in a fitness guru to work with Jose Reyes and try to combat his troubled hammy. Here is a paragraph from the story that shows why Mets fans get frustrated with the Skill Sets: [Last year, when Reyes's right hamstring was becoming a problem, the Mets called a 5-foot-8, 140-pound bundle of energy named Mackie Shilstone, an expert in performance enhancement with the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans. A team doctor interviewed Shilstone - who has worked with several major league teams and more than 2,000 athletes, including Ozzie Smith, Royce Clayton and Carlos Garcia - but did not follow up with him.] Who was this doctor? The same one who said not to go after Vladimr Guererro? Dr.Rokito I presume. They have a guy who can help them with their prize prospect and they drag their heels. This happens so much in this organization and that's one of the reasons for the Mets failure. "I got my pills to ease the pain can't find a thing to ease the rain sometimes I'd like to try and settle down but everybody's leaving' town Some got to win some got to lose good time Charlie's got the blues" Scott Strickland has a pill problem. He takes 23 pills 3 times a day but has no clue what's in them. So now Strickland wants the Mets, the union, anyone, to test these "supplements" he's been taking to make sure they're legal. First off ,if your ingesting any substance 69 times a day, wouldn't you thing a little bell would go off in your head telling you, somethings not kosher here? Strickland says he hasn't a clue what's in these pills. It could be anything he says "It could be viagra in them for all I know". Scott, if there was some viagra in those pills I think either you or your teammates would notice (Is that a Louisville Slugger in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?). And of course Strickland could not get in touch with union counsel Gene Orza for guidance with this matter. My guess is Orza was at A-Rod's bedside after he got nicked with a thrown ball in yesterday's game. Speaking of A-Rod: "WELCOME TO ANOTHER READING OF A-ROD: HOW GREAT THOU ART" Today's third and final chapter of the NY Daily news series called the A-Rod files deals with A-Rod saving a single mother and her three children from a fire that destroyed their home. After the fire was out, A-Rod proceeded to rebuild the home by himself of course, and built all the new furniture as well. It's just a matter of time before A-Rods birthday becomes a national holiday. Also the was rumor that Joel Sherman of the NY post and John Heyman of Newsday had to given smelling slats after passing out when A-Rod was hit on the cheek by a ball thrown by Hideki Matsui in yesterday's Highlanders-Olde Town Team tumble. <

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

"A READING OF THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO A-ROD" In today's A-Rod Files, we learn how A-Rod as a young missionary, went to Calcutta to assist Mother Theresa with her work at a leper colony <

"WE'RE #10 WITH A BULLET" Baseball America has released it's rankings of Major League teams fram systems. The Mets are ranked 10th, moving up 3 spots form last years 13th ranking. Here's the list: 1. Milwaukee Brewers 2. Los Angeles Dodgers 3. Anaheim Angels 4. Atlanta Braves 5. Minnesota Twins 6. Cleveland Indians 7. Chicago Cubs 8. Toronto Blue Jays 9. Tampa Bay Devil Rays 10. New York Mets 11. Pittsburgh Pirates 12. Seattle Mariners 13. Arizona Diamondbacks 14. Florida Marlins 15. Colorado Rockies 16. Texas Rangers 17. Oakland Athletics 18. Baltimore Orioles 19 Kansas City Royals 20. Chicago White Sox 21. Philadelphia Phillies 22. Detroit Tigers 23. Boston Red Sox 24. San Francisco Giants 25. San Diego Padres 26. Cincinnati Reds 27. New York Yankees 28. St. Louis Cardinals 29. Houston Astros 30. Montreal Expos First, how about the Highlanders dropping to 27th! WOW. What is more of a blemish on MLB the steriod scandal or the way the Expos have bee treated? They were one of the top teams when it came to player development now ther're dead last. When does The Used Car Salesman invoke the "Best Intrest in Baseball" clause and give the Expos a decent home and a chance to compete again? <

"THE MAINSTREAM PRESS, A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT ON THE DOWD STORY" Joel (Pinstripe Pajamas) Sherman and Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post took a break from swooning over A-Rod, to go with a story that's about a week old. Will Young sat in at a seminar at George Washington university, where he's student, given by John Dowd. Dowd, among other topics talks of Highlander plantation owner Georgie Porgie, pushing The Used Car Salesman to reinstate Pete (Bugsy) Rose into the good graces of baseball. Georgie's thinking was with Rose brought back to the bosom of baseball and into the Hall of Fame, it would help his chances as well. Boss George, The Used Car Salesman, Tom Hayden.....errr I mean Bob DuPay have all said this is nonsense. If anybody know about nonsense it's these three. MEMO to NY POST: if your going to mention Will's web site in the newspaper, show a little courtesy and hyper link it. I'm sure Hondo doesn't have much to do till football season that he could handle this chore. <

Jeff Pearlman of SI/John Rocker fame has written a new book on the 1986 Mets. The book is titled: THE BAD GUYS WON! A SEASON OF BRAWLING, BOOZING, BIMBO CHASING, AND CHAMPIONSHIP BASEBALL WITH STRAW, DOC, MOOKIE, NAILS, THE KID AND THE REST OF THE 1986 METS, THE ROWDIEST TEAM EVER TO PUT ON A NEW YORK UNIFORM-AND MAYBE THE BEST This book sounds like a must read for us in the Legion of Wilpon. I just wish the current crop of Mets had half the onions of the '86 ers. Check out the link to Jeff's website, where you can read more about the 86ers and order the book. <

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

�DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS� The papers are a buzz with who�s in and who�s out when it comes to the makeup of the 2004 Mets roster. More specifically, the pitching staff seems to be where the tough decisions will be made. The biggest competition is the 5th spot in the rotation. Grant Roberts, Scott Erickson, Tyler Yates and James Baldwin are the contenders. You can right off Yates, who most likely will be ticketed to Norfolk and Baldwin may agree to an AAA assignment as well. So with Erickson and Roberts left, figure the Mets to go the safest route and name Erickson to the rotation and Roberts to the pen. I�m figuring with the 5th spot scheduled to go in the warm weather of Puerto Rico against the Expos on April 10th and with the off day on April 13th the next time a 5th starter would be needed is either April 17th or 18th which are day games, so the chilly weather may not be a factor. So that would favor Erickson. So with Roberts to the pen that leaves just 1 spot open in the bullpen. The candidates are Ober Moreno, Rickey Botaliaco, and Dan Wheeler. The question I have is if you had to choose 3 pitchers from this group of 6 who would you take? John Franco LHP Mike Stanton LHP David Weathers RHP Ober Moreno RHP Rickey Botaliaco RHP Dan Wheeler RHP This is what happens when an organization takes in a favorite son. That favorite being John Franco. Although he is having a good spring, what was the sense in bringing him back? If I had to choose between Wheeler and Franco, I'm going with Wheeler. Botaliaco Or Franco? Put me down for Botaliaco. Moreno over Franco? Moreno is my choice with his ability to get a strikeout, something that is still lacking on the staff. Is David Weathers a better choice than Wheeler, Botaliaco or Moreno? Not in my book he isn�t. Moreno, I believe has options left so he could go to Norfolk. I don�t believe Wheeler has options and Botalaico is a vet so that�s a no go. So after all is said and done here is the way I see the staff: Leiter LHP Galvine LHP Trachsel RHP Seo RHP Erickson RHP Roberts RHP Franco LHP Weathers RHP Botaliaco RHP Stanton LHP Looper RHP It�s with regret I say good-bye to Kranepool Society favorite Dan Wheeler. That�s the shame of this, personnel decision are being made not solely on performance but on favorite son status and money obligations. Moreno goes to Norfolk to close for the Tides. The Rest of the Squad C Piazza R Phillips R Wilson R INF Reyes S Matsui S Wiggington R Wilpon Ward R Zeile R OF Floyd L Cameron R Spencer R Garcia L Cedeno S The only roster spot open is for an extra infielder. It looks like that spot will be filled by a player released from another organization rather than from within, meaning Danny Garcia heads back to AAA. Whew! All this work just to chase 81 wins! �JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ALL ABOUT A-ROD��.� The Daily News has a 3 (!) part series starting today, on Highlander 3rd baseman Alex Rodriquez. I don�t know how many more trees need to cut down to tell the A-Rod story, but the word in Hollywood is that Mel Gibson wants to produce his life story for the silver screen. <

Monday, March 22, 2004

"WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE" Jose Reyes is itching to get back to business. Artie from Queens wants him in the Opening Day lineup. The Duke wants to take a more cautious approach to Reye's comeback from strained hammy. Here is Artie's quote in today's NEWSDAY along with a quote from The Duke: . "It sounds more and more like we have a shot at having him for Opening Day," manager Art Howe said. Reyes, 20, missed three weeks last season with a similar strain of the same hamstring while at Triple-A Norfolk, then was sidelined for another five games with the Mets when it popped up again. For that reason, general manager Jim Duquette was more reserved in his assessment and, unlike Howe, wasn't ready to include him in the club's Opening Day plans just yet. "I don't have any odds one way or the other," Duquette said. "As much as we'd like to have him ready for Opening Day, we also want to make sure he's ready for the full season, too." Now boys, let's get on the same page please. I wonder what type of relationship Artie and The Duke have? I guess will know on cut down day. <

"WELCOME BACK BIG DON" Mets bench coach Don Baylor rejoined the team yesterday after going through stem cell transplant for bone cancer. Baylor was strong enough to drive form California to St. Lonesome and has proclaimed himself fit to fight for the 2004 season. While The Gerbil gets all the press and adulation, Baylor, who is a baseball lifer as well and a helluva better player than The Gerbil, doesn't get the love like he does. Baylor has a much tougher job than The Gerbil ever had keeping Artie from Queens awake. <

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Every day - I try and I try and I try - But everybody wants to put me down They say I'm goin' crazy They say I got a lot of water in my brain Got no common sense (He's)I got nobody left to believe Yeah - yeah yeah yeah Lee Jenkins has a piece in today's NY Times on the life and times of Roger Cedeno. In order to get the full effect of this story it must be read with violin music in the background. I'm not a "booer" I do not boo at sporting events I think because the sight of a 45 year old man standing and yelling and booing is well unsightly. But I do love to critique. I feel for Cedeno in that he does not want his wife and kids to come to Shea to hear him get razed. That's understandable. I also see how his teammates, especially Cliff Floyd have come to his defense, that's what a good teammates does. But understand the fans wrath. Every year ticket prices and concession prices go up an up to where the cost of a few hours at a ball game cost about the same as a nice weekend in the country. Then top it off that a player such as Cedeno has failed miserably at his craft. Then add on his bloated contract, of which $10 mil is owed over the next 2 years and compound that with a losing team, what would you expect the paying customers to do? Freddy Skills Sets hates to be portrayed as a penny pincher but by keeping Cedeno around is what adds to that presumption. What Freddy needs to do is tell The Duke get whatever you can for Cedeno and bite the bullet and pay off his contract. I say call the Dodgers but it's to late now that Paul DePodesta is in charge. Who knows maybe for a couple of A level prospects he'd take a flyer on Roger. If all that fails then work out a buy of the contract. It will only get worse at Shea when Cedeno drops a catchable ball in the outfield or is picked off 1st base. For the greater good of Cedeno, his family and Mets fans Freddy do the right thing. <